Can Early Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Protocol Improve Disability after a Hemiparetic Stroke? A Pilot Study

Mahdi Yazdani*, Ahmad Chitsaz, Vahid Zolaktaf, Mohammad Saadatnia, Majid Ghasemi, Fatemeh Nazari, Abbas Chitsaz, Katsuhiko Suzuki, Hadi Nobari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The impairment of limb function and disability are among the most important consequences of stroke. To date, however, little research has been done on the early rehabilitation trial (ERT) after stroke in these patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of ERT neuromuscular protocol on motor function soon after hemiparetic stroke. The sample included twelve hemiparetic patients (54.3 ± 15.4 years old) with ischemic stroke (n = 7 control, n = 5 intervention patients). ERT was started as early as possible after stroke and included passive range of motion exercises, resistance training, assisted standing up, and active exercises of the healthy side of the body, in addition to encouraging voluntary contraction of affected limbs as much as possible. The rehabilitation was progressive and took 3 months, 6 days per week, 2–3 hours per session. Fu-gle‐Meyer Assessment (FMA), Box and Blocks test (BBT) and Timed up and go (TUG) assessments were conducted. There was a significantly greater improvement in the intervention group com-pared to control: FMA lower limbs (p = 0.001), total motor function (p = 0.002), but no significant difference in FMA upper limb between groups (p = 0.51). The analysis of data related to BBT showed no significant differences between the experimental and control groups (p = 0.3). However, TUG test showed significant differences between the experimental and control groups (p = 0.004). The most important finding of this study was to spend enough time in training sessions and provide adequate rest time for each person. Our results showed that ERT was associated with improved motor function but not with the upper limbs. This provides a basis for a definitive trial.

Original languageEnglish
Article number816
JournalBrain Sciences
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Keywords

  • Acute stroke
  • early rehabilitation trial
  • exercise therapy
  • motor function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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